Thursday, February 21, 2008


Dan Froomkin in his blog White House Watch in today's refers me to a story in McClatchy Newspapers by Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel on Bush's efforts to keep Pervez Musharraf in the Pakistani government even after his party suffered a huge defeat in Sunday's elections.

Write Landay and Strobel:

"The Bush administration is pressing the opposition leaders who defeated Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to allow the former general to retain his position, a move that Western diplomats and U.S. officials say could trigger the very turmoil the United States seeks to avoid.

"U.S. officials, from President Bush on down, said this week that they think Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally, should continue to play a role, despite his party's rout in parliamentary elections Monday and his unpopularity in the volatile, nuclear-armed nation."

It seems Bush, Cheney and the rest of their gang are so enamored of that dictator Musharraf that they are putting pressure on the winning Pakistani parties to keep Musharraf in the ruling circle. The worst part of this is that Bush is also counselling against reinstatement of the Supreme Court Justices that Musharraf illegally forced out of office last year in his quest to remain Pakistani president.

Report Strobel and Landay:

"The U.S. is urging the Pakistani political leaders who won the elections to form a new government quickly and not press to reinstate the judges whom Musharraf ousted last year, Western diplomats and U.S. officials said Wednesday. If reinstated, the jurists likely would try to remove Musharraf from office."

This is outrageous. Talk about destroying any semblance of the rule of law. Bush aids and abets Musharraf in this dismissal of the judges when their decisions go against Musharraf's personal interests. And we have not even mentioned Musharraf's use of force against the peaceful demonstrations of the judges and lawyers when he had the police beat them with canes and arrest them. Now Bush counsels don't reinstate them because then they will rule that you, Musharraf, occupy the presidency in violation of the Pakistan Constitution. Bush shows his contempt for the Pakistan Constitution, notwithstanding his constant mantra of democracy being the gift of the Almighty for all.

"Bush's policy of hanging on to Musharraf has caused friction between the White House and the State Department, with some career diplomats and other specialists arguing that the administration is trying to buck the political tides in Pakistan, U.S. officials said. . .

"One Western diplomat said, however, that the strategy could backfire if Pakistanis feel betrayed after voting to kick Musharraf from office. "This is dangerous," said the diplomat. The officials spoke to McClatchy on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss internal government debates.

"The effort to persuade Pakistan's newly elected parliament not to reinstate the judges could be perceived in Pakistan as a U.S. attempt to keep Musharraf in power after voters overwhelmingly rejected his Pakistan Muslim League-Q political party.

""There is going to be an uprising against the people who were elected" should opposition parties agree to the plan, warned Athar Minallah, the lawyer of ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, whom Musharraf has under house arrest."

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